Movie Club: Monty Python's Life Of Brian

Discussion in 'Introductions & Off Topic' started by LiamABC, Apr 26, 2019.

  1. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    WELCOME EVERYBODY TO THE LATEST DISCUSSION THREAD OF THE NEW MOVIE CLUB. A big thanks to everyone that are joining us through all of this.

    This week we're sticking with classic British comedy with Monty Python's Life Of Brian.

    Remember any ideas for films to discuss are most welcome, and should be made on the Movie Club Introduction thread (the sticky one), and anyone is welcome to add their thoughts about movies already discussed on their respective threads.

    Just a friendly reminder to everyone that, whilst fans are obviously welcome to passionately discuss and give their views on these movies, please remember to keep things on a friendly footing and respect your fellow posters.
    Also, please do not post where or how to find the full movie online. And do not post asking others to PM it to you. You are however allowed to watch the movie in whatever manner you want.
  2. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    I am not really a fan of Monty Python. The Life of Brian is very similar to The Holy Grail.
    The movie has a few funny scenes but that's about it. A lot of the gags go on a bit to long and aren't that funny.
    The plot is okay but I can understand why they had trouble financing the movie.
    A lot of the gags would have been better suited to just being part of a sketch show rather than a full on movie.
    Also the small cast playing so many roles is a bit tedious and the males doing the female voices is quite annoying.
    Just like the Holy Grail, Life Of Brian is a rather disappointing and did not live up to the hype and is only really memorable because of a couple scenes and funny lines.
  3. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    I'm not a big fan of Monty Python, but they did some good stuff in their time, and Life Of Brian is among it. It's one of those films that you watch the first time and you're not sure, and you're a bit upset by the ending. Then you watch it a second time and you get it a bit more but you're still not 100% convinced. Watch it a third time and it'll have you.

    This movie was and still is understandably controversial. But the root of the controversy was people taking things too seriously.

    What it does beautifully is expose a lot of the insanity around the concept of religious belief, and how easy it is to misinterpret things. (Note I am not picking on any individual religions here, and neither are the Pythons for that matter, when Jesus does appear briefly at the start he is not himself satirised.) When Brian emerges from the spaceship and all those people start following him and read things into their relic of choice, it's a perfect metaphor. Anyone who takes their religion too seriously might have a problem with this, but that's their problem, not the film's.

    There are some wonderful moments earlier. My personal favourite is the graffiti scene, "Romanes eunt domus" - and the guard picks Brian up on his grammar, and once Brian has ascertained that it should read "Romani ite domum", has him paint it on the wall a hundred times. The stoning sequence is so stupid it's brilliant, from the context of when someone says Jehovah to the women in false beards. Also the whole thing about "we're the People's Front of Judea, not the Judean People's Front", that's back on the subject of religious splinter groups again, they're fighting more against each other than against their common enemy.

    The fact of the cast all playing multiple parts is just something that they were used to doing in the sketches. It's a comedy, and a parody. You know going in that you're not meant to take everything too seriously. Theatrical productions often have actors doubling up on parts (one of the Charles Paris mysteries takes it to hilarious extremes with a production of Macbeth where Charles ends up playing a different small part in almost every scene!), as do radio shows and cartoons where it's people doing different voices. And this is another instance where you shouldn't get uptight on the matter.

    As for men playing women's parts, there's not really much of that. All the "straight" women's parts are played by women. The only instances in this film where women's parts are played by men is when it is funny for it to be the case.

    I enjoy this film more each time I watch it.
  4. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    Nothing wrong with people playing more than one part if they put a bit of effort in acting different characters and make them different. Sadly that isn't the case here as it's blatantly obvious it's the same actor. Granted this isn't much different than their sketch show...but that just proves my point that these gags would have been better suited to just a sketch show than a full on movie.

    I was reading up on some of the controversy surrounding the religious aspect of the film and agree that people getting offended over it is a bit much as all the jokes etc all focus on the Brain character.

    I wonder if back when this film was released if any people claimed the criticism of the movie was only by religious types much like today if you have any criticism of a film you are either a fanboy stuck in the past, a social justice warrior, a racist, a bigot, not a true fan etc.
  5. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    It was religious types who were making a big noise against it when it came out.

    As for the role duplicating, you kind of know what you're getting with Monty Python, and you accept it. The characters playing multiple parts is part of the fun.
  6. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    You are missing my point. I know there was religious types making a fuss about it. I said I wonder if many people just dismissed the non religious criticism of the film due to people just having more of a problem with the religious aspects of the film. A bit like Star Wars The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi and Ghostbusters 2016 a couple years ago when the fans had actual issues they were all dismissed as being sexist, racist or fanboys etc. Like I have criticised Life Of Brian and didn't like it that much just like The Holy Grail and have no problem with the religious aspect of the film but there are some who would just try and dismiss my criticism of film and say it was just because of the religious aspect of the movie rather than the actual issues I had with the movie.

    I meant to mention in my first comment the stoning scene was probably the funniest scene in the whole movie.

    I am not really a fan of Monty Python but I have seen several movies and documentaries with some of the cast I really enjoy, one of them being Eric Idle in Nuns On The Run.
  7. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    I haven't dismissed your criticism as purely religious.
  8. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    I know, I didn't say or think that you did. :)

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